Posted by: Eric Wichhart | April 20, 2012

ConnectWise Collections Track Coming Your Way

Tired of trying to keep track of the credit statuses of your clients? Well, then coming with the new 2012.1 release of ConnectWise you will be able to automate this process. With the use of new workflow rules and triggers that can be ran against invoices, you will now be able to trigger work flow rules against invoices and be able to change the company status based on the ages of invoices. Please note that you must also be using QuickBooks as your financial software to completely automate the process and do regular invoice payment syncing between QuickBooks and ConnectWise.

If you would like one of our experienced consultants to set this up for you, please send an email to sales@connectutech.com and we will be glad to lend a hand.

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | March 13, 2012

Dell to Acquire SonicWALL in Q2

This is the letter I received from SonicWALL this morning:

This announcement comes on the heals of last month’s announcement by Dell of it’s acquisition of AppAssure. As Dell continues its quest to push into the MSP/VAR space, we will be forced to work with Dell or another vendor like them or be crushed by them as they continue to gather up the best of the marketplace? Will the products lines and services purchased by Dell be better or worse due to their acquisition, that remains to be seen? The real story coming out of this release is that Dell and others like Best Buy are continuing to work towards grabbing a slice of your pie.

One of the scariest scenarios I see is a alliance between Best Buy and Dell. Best Buy is on a quest to garner a strong local presence in the MSP/VAR market with their recent purchase of Mindspring Technologies and their current Geek Squad offerings. Combine that with the hardware infrastructure Dell already has, along with the service lineup they are purchasing and you have a dangerous combination that seeks to first take over larger MSPs followed by the quest to push smaller companies out of business. If you are not seeing these trends in the marketplace, you may soon be a victim of the marketplace.

Companies in the major metropolitan areas will be the first ones coming under attack as there is greater profits to be made in these areas. Companies in the lower tiered markets and rural markets, have a little breathing room as there are less profits to be made in these areas for the big companies, but as competition increases in the major metropolitan areas the larger companies like Dell will move to the minor markets to squeeze more profit into their bottom line.

The key to survive this attack is to move your relationship position. As you may have heard from many in the industry, you need to move beyond the customer/vendor relationship and build a trusted adviser relationship with the customer. So no matter where they go for services, Dell, HP, Microsoft, or Cloud Company XYZ, you will be there as their CIO or CTO to help them make the best decisions for their company.

A good way to start moving in this direction is to start thinking of offerings that may not be the most profitable to you, but are the best for your client, such as Office 365. By moving your clients to Office 365, you are giving that portion of your relationship over to a big vendor, as Microsoft bills the client directly. Many have complained that you are basically offering up your Rolodex to Microsoft and at some level this concern is true, but this is a great opportunity to build that trusted relationship. Microsoft is currently not going after the MSP market, so you are safe from them stealing your clients. What I would worry about more is the Dells and Best Buys, if you do not offer Office 365, they will. You wait, very shortly you will see Best Buy advertising products like Office 365 in their stores and advertisements. Your clients visit those stores and see those advertisements. They may just drop off at the counter and ask what this is all about, the Geek Squad guy tells them how wonderful of a product it is and the client wonders to himself “Why didn’t my IT guy tell me about this?” So he signs his company up, now Best Buy has his information, starts pounding him with advertisements stating how they can give them great support for next to nothing. The next thing you know you have lost a customer because you didn’t offer a product that you were afraid of offering because Microsoft might steal your client.

The goal is to leverage vendors like Microsoft, get out of the hosting and repair business, let them do the work and you help your clients make the right decisions. That is what Financial Advisers have done for years, they do not offer the investment accounts, they tell you which ones are the best and get you hooked up. You either pay them a fee based on your investment amount or they get a commission from the product vendors they sell you. You still get paid, you just have to change your way of getting paid.

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | March 9, 2012

Lenovo Recalls ThinkCentre Desktop Computers Due to Fire Hazard

1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 8, 2012

Release #12-129

 

Firm’s Recall Hotline: (855) 248-2194

CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772

CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

 

Lenovo Recalls ThinkCentre Desktop Computers Due to Fire Hazard

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

 

Name of Product: Lenovo ThinkCentre M70z and M90z desktop computers

 

Units: About 50,500

 

Manufacturer/Importer: Lenovo, of Morrisville, N.C.

 

Hazard: A defect in an internal component in the power supply can overheat and pose a fire hazard.

 

Incidents/Injuries: The firm received reports of one fire incident and one smoke incident in the U.S. No injuries have been reported.

 

Description: The recalled all-in-one desktop computers, or PCs, are flat-panel monitors with the PC integrated into the monitor housing itself. The power supplies are also inside the monitor or PC housing. The computer chassis has a matte black finish with the brand name “ThinkCentre” in the lower left hand corner of the monitor front. The recalled desktop model numbers are M90z and M70z along with the serial number and manufacturing date code can be found on a label on the underside of the unit.

 

Models: M70z and M90z

Date Codes: 1001 to 1012, 1101 to 1112, 001 to 012, 101 to 112

 

Only certain of the M70z and M90z computers built in this time frame are affected. Consumers will need to check the serial number on their computer with Lenovo to determine if it is subject to this recall.

 

Sold at: Online at Lenovo’s websites, by telephone and direct sales through Lenovo authorized distributors nationwide from May 2010 through January 2012 for about $500 for the M70z model and $800 for the M90z model.

 

Manufactured in: Mexico

 

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the computers, unplug the power supply and contact the firm to determine if your computer is included in the recall and to schedule an appointment for a free replacement of the power supply.

 

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Lenovo toll-free at (855)248-2194 anytime, or visit the firm’s website at www.lenovo.com/aiopsurecall

 

To see this recall on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12129.html

 

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | March 1, 2012

A Sign Of Maturity

A sign that your company is maturing is when your goal moves from adding new clients to adding the right clients.

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | February 24, 2012

Dell Acquires AppAssure

I received this email from Dell today about  their acquission of AppAssure:

How is this going to effect the backup market? I was seriously looking at moving toward AppAssure from Shadow Protect, but I think I will now stand fast and wait to see how this affects the AppAssure product. Past products in the past that Dell has acquired have gone from decently priced to expensive as they like to play to the Enterprise. Will the same thing happen to AppAssure? We’ll wait and see.

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | February 9, 2012

Scheduling Automatic Surveys

I recently worked with a client who wanted to have a survey sent out of ConnectWise automatically every three months to certain clients. He wanted to gather some feedback from key persons within his client base to better evaluate the service his staff was providing. This survey is target toward individuals who would not normally receive the status surveys which accompany service ticket status emails, but can be sent to anyone who is a contact within ConnectWise.

To accomplish this we used a set of workflow rules, a survey, a service template and a service board.

1. Create a service board called Surveys, with status New (default), Survey, Survey Sent and Closed. I recommend hiding this service board from your members using the members screen or placing it into a location not used by most members, such as Admin.

2. Create a survey to be sent out.

3. Create a Standard Service Template to create a ticket every three months and place it on the Surveys service board with a status of Survey.

4. Create a status workflow for the status Survey that sends an email to the Contact for the item with the survey attached.

5. Create a workflow rule that moves the status of any ticket on the Surveys board with a status of Survey to Survey Sent.

6. Create another workflow that closed any ticket with the status of Survey Sent after 5 minutes.

7. Set the workflow rules to run on each item once and the batch to run every hour during Office Hours.

8. Go back to the Standard Service Template you created and click Create Template. It will then prompt you for a company and contact. This is the person you are sending the survey to.

9. Next go to the Service Templates tab of the company for which you just created the template and rename the template you just created to the person’s name. (you will not be able to create a second template against the same company until this is done)

10. Finally, create a workflow rule that will alert you when a survey is completed with a score less than 99 and you will always be notified.

ConnectWise will now automatically send this contact a survey every three months.

If you do not have the time and/or knowledge to implement this for your organization. One of our skilled consultants would be glad to put this in place in your ConnectWise for a flat rate of $250.00. Please email sales@connectutech.com for more information.

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | January 23, 2012

Will SOPA Kill The Cloud

With all the talk about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) going around, could this put a damper on The Cloud or should it put a damper on The Cloud. With the ever hunger in Washington D.C. to take control of the Internet, is having vital systems in the cloud the right path to take today? SOPA is not the first foray into this arena for this administration. I remember a few years back when President Obama took office, he tried to get past an Internet kill switch bill, which would allow him to push a button and turn off the Internet for everyone in the United States. They would enable this by forcing the owners of every router on the Internet to add a bit of code to their router that would receive the command to shutdown This so called “Kill Switch” was designed to protect us but in reality gave the government a large amount of power over the free Internet. This was touted as a way to stop a cyber attach from countries like China and North Korea, but in some minds was a affront to our freedoms. Not only is this anti-freedom, but also a huge security disaster waiting to happen. Wait until some 16 year old hacker figures out how to break the code and bring down the whole Internet as a joke.

The next attach started last year and came from the United Nations. The UN wants to regulate the Internet. This regulation is being pushed by Russia, China, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, who submitted a resolution to the U.N.’s General Assembly to allow countries to regulate the Internet.
With an ever growing assault on on the Internet coming from not only foreign governments, but the US government, is putting all your eggs into a basket that someone else is carrying and may take away at a moments notice really a good idea? As the cloud is still in its infancy and the Internet being something out of our control, it may be best to keep the cloud for low to medium low priority applications and keep critical business applications on-site or at least have a good failsafe system.
Posted by: Eric Wichhart | January 21, 2012

SQL Custom Reporting For Cloud

If you are on the cloud and have wanted to create custom SQL reports for your ConnectWise, you know that currently you cannot do this, but soon this will change. With the release of SQL 2012 you will have the ability to have a streaming copy of your ConnectWise database stored locally on your own SQL server. This feature will give you the ability to create custom SQL reports and queries against your ConnectWise database. Look for this to come online before the end of 2012.

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | January 20, 2012

New Customer Portal

If you are on the cloud or have recently applied the patches to your ConnectWise server, you may not have noticed that the customer portal has changed. It now has a new look and has more customizations available. Even if you don’t want to spend a lot of time customizing your portal, you may want to spend a few minutes and update the colors, default region for non-US users and add a welcome message.

Top New Portal Features:

1. New Look and Design.

2. Ability to have multiple portals, each based on a company or location. Each portal can have its own logo and color scheme. Great for big clients and Streamline IT clients. Note: there is no longer a logo on the login page due to this new feature as everyone uses the same login page.

3. Ability to accept credit card payments for invoices using Authorized.Net.

4. Ability to customize most colors on the portal.

5. Ability to restrict clients from seeing tickets residing on certain boards.

6. Ability to restrict clients from viewing certain Configuration Types.

Plus a ton of other new features. Take some time and check out the new Customer Portal.

Please Note: As of 1/20/2012 they are still working out a few bugs with the new format, so if you are not currently pushing the portal with your clients I would wait a few weeks to make sure everything is ironed out. But in the mean time take the time to get it configured and ready to roll out.

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | January 19, 2012

Automate Collections with ConnectWise

Did you know that as of the 2012.1 version of ConnectWise you will be able to automate your collections process with ConnectWise? If you are interested in learning more about this or would like to have this setup for you, please contact us and one of our Consultants would be glad to help you out.

info@connectutech.com

352-702-0354

Older Posts »

Categories